Notes: World Cup 2010 fic!After seeing the teams exchanging jerseys after the game, I HAD to write fic of it. With USUK, of course. Enjoy!
He had promised England that no matter the outcome, he'd be respectful about it. At the time, America figured it was just England's deep-seated fears that perhaps the American team did have something the English team didn't. But now that they'd ended in a tie, due to a (even America had to admit it) very lucky goal, he figured it was the most he could do for his partner. Chuckling to himself as he strode across the pitch, he shook his head. England did supposedly 'invent the game' or something like that. Whatever it was, England definitely took this way more seriously than he did.
He spotted him skulking on the end of the English bench, the team members already out on the pitch mingling with the American team; hugs and jerseys were being exchanged and America felt a grin break out on his face.
If both the teams could show such great sportsmanship, then he could do what he'd promised England and give him some respect. No gloating, no rubbing in the fact that the ball had slipped so easily through their goalie's fingers, and most (and hardest) of all- no going on about how awesome he was.
Okay, you can do this. Just stay cool. Be awesome on the inside, America thought to himself as he gave the other country a tenative smile.
"Hey England, good game."
He stuck out a hand and England eyed it warily, clearly waiting for the gloating accompanying it. America huffed and retracted it; his eyes glancing out to the players again, glad to see the two scoring midfielders exchanging jerseys amidst the group. At that, a little idea flickered to life in America's mind.
With a casual glance back at England, America gave him a softer smile.
"And yeah, I know it was a lucky goal. You guys played a great game; it was amazing getting the chance to play you again."
At that England cocked an eyebrow, his posture straightening up as he locked eyes with America. "Well then. Um…thank you. It was, um, a pleasure to play you again as well."
Hoping that England wouldn't find it dumb, America took a deep breath and prayed his little idea would work. He fumbled with the hem of his jersey a moment before yanking it up and off over his head; his tousled blonde hair catching the spotlights in the stadium as he shook it out.
With a nervous laugh, he held it out to England. "Here, I'll trade ya."
"What?" England's bite was back in his voice and America almost backed down. He'd seen the other country upset over sports (and had to pick him up in drunken rages at pubs) before and didn't know how well he was taking the tie at the moment. Once again, America looked out to the pitch where the two teams were hugging and still exchanging jerseys like old friends.
"Our teams were doing it, so I thought we should too. Good sportsmanship, you know?"
At that, something sparkled to life in England's eyes, as if he'd been in a trance previously and was just now coming to. "Oh. Yes. Quite right."
He stood, shooting America a glance that was definitely closer to flirty than wary, before he too pulled his jersey off over his head. Holding it out, a slightly smug smile quirked onto his lips.
"If you can bear to taint your Yankee skin with it, that is."
America grinned. "Same to you, you bloody Brit."
England snorted and snatched the proffered jersey from America's outstretched hand. "If I smell like burgers and coffee in the morning, I'll know why."
Laughing, America took the white jersey from England and began to tug it on over his head. "And what, will I smell like tea and chips?"
They both managed to pull their heads through at the same moment, both emerging with ruffled hair and playful smirks. America took a hesitant step forward, but England had moved quicker, closing the space between them and tugging him down into a fierce kiss.
Well, so much for him being too mad at me for this… America thought to himself, deciding that it was only sportsman like to return the kiss as good as he was getting.
America could feel England clutching firmly at the front of his borrowed jersey, his other hand quite occupied in sliding up the back of his neck to tangle into his hair. America made an experimental poke forward with his tongue, only for it to be greeted eagerly as England parted his lips to take it in. They swayed on the spot, too absorbed in their own little world to give a care about what was going on around them. The players, the crowd, and all the noise might have been miles away. It was just them, standing there, sharing this moment, clad in each other's jerseys and so so damn proud of their teams for playing one hell of a game.
As they drew apart to take a breath, England kept hold of the jersey front as he gave America a questioning glance. "You're being awfully quiet about your awesomeness…oh, I don't know… clearly blinding my goalie or whatever bollocks you were sure to come up with about him missing that shot."
America reached up to rub at the back of his neck nervously, "Well, you said to be respectful no matter the outcome….so…"
England blinked. "You actually listened to me for once."
"Hey, I listen to you more than that!"
"Yes but…under these circumstances I thought that…"
America reached down the hand clenching the jersey against his chest, gently easing it out of a fist. "England," he said softly, "A hero always upholds his promises. Plus…" He unclenched England's fingers and tangled them together with his own. Smiling down at their clasped hands, he finished, "It's nice to be equals, you know? Even if it's because of dumb luck."
England shook his head, but didn't withdraw his hand. He let the two hands drop between them, where America swung them back and forth absently.
"I suppose I can approve of that. Your goalie did make some great saves, after all."
America beamed. "Yeah, we were pretty awesome weren't we?"
The moment the words were out of his mouth, America expected England to withdraw his hand or at least scowl at him. But instead, England just leaned his head over onto his shoulder and sighed. "We both were. How's that settle it?"
Giving England's hand a squeeze, America tilted his head over against England's; both of them looking out across the pitch at the blur of reds, whites and blues it had become. One of the English players was doing an interview, still wearing a USA jersey; and some of the fans were throwing their arms around their neighbors and chanting, irregardless of which team they had been rooting for.
"We were both extremely, massively, awesome, England! Algeria and Slovenia better watch out, because we're going to hand their asses to them on a golden platter."
England chuckled, "There now, that's more like you. So after I go gloat to France that at least I tied with a goal, um…" He cleared his throat and looked to the side, a light blush tingeing his cheeks. "Your place or mine?"
America smiled. "I don't care as long as it's a good distance away from all those horns."
"Christ, yes. Bloody vuvuzela's are giving me a headache."
"How about we just rent a room for both of us? A room for two, preferably with a nice shower."
England quirked an eyebrow and poked at the slim expanse of skin peeking out from the too-small English jersey America wore. "A shower for two, perhaps?"
America grinned, a light flush on his cheeks, as he replied, "That sounds like a winning idea, England. I do, after all," he murmured, indicating their switched jerseys, "love to share things with you."